If you want to engage your visitors (and who doesn’t…right?) then you need to give them what they came looking for, AND give it to them quick. Your web visitors are hunting for information or products. If you approach your content writing with the understanding that they make quick decisions without thinking, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
Here are a few simple tips to help you write engaging content starting now.
Avoid trying to be too clever or creative. Clever phrasing requires people to think. Your readers are not going to hang on to every word you write (that’s just a fact… don’t be offended). They don’t have time to think. Web visitors are hunting; they’re often in a hurry. If you don’t quickly make it clear what they should do, they’ll bounce off on the hunt for a website that does.
So, keep your web copy as simple as possible. Write as if you’re writing for a 12-year old. This makes your copy easy-to-follow.
*A Word of Warning: Be careful with jokes unless you’re absolutely sure your target audience will get them.
If you’ve ever written and essay you know that first, you’re going to explain what you’re going to discuss. You’ll likely follow that up with an overview of the literature. And finally, you’ll draw your conclusion. The most important point you make is in the conclusion – at the end of your essay!
Writing for the web is completely different. On web pages your most important points should always come first. The information that is most important to your web visitors is often a simple statement of what you do.
Once they understand what you do, they might want to know some important details. And then – maybe they’d like to know some background information. Your customers want to know the big picture first.
* TIP: One of the most important things to answer is “what can you do for me”.
Keep the objective for your website in mind and only include information that supports your goal. Just because you know the whole alphabet about a subject doesn’t mean all of it belongs in one piece of content.
If you’re writing about how to make a good vanilla latte, then you don’t need to include a summary on the history of coffee, where the best beans are located, and how to brew the perfect cup.
Leave the kitchen sink at home. The more irrelevant information you include, the further you take people away from your goal and the more you confuse them along the way.
Don’t Forget: Oftentimes less is more.
With these tips in mind get writing. Keep it simple, put the most important things first, and only include what’s relevant. Let people learn about your one piece of content at a time as they skim your copy. The more you write the better you will get, so don’t give up and don’t wait until your content is perfect to publish.